Posts Tagged ‘Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’

Dog of the Day: “Zip” & “Anna”

Thursday, November 6th, 2014


Jeff Ratledge says his wirehaired pointing griffon, “Zip,” and my dad’s Lab, “Anna,” make a pretty good team. “This photo was taken last year, on our last day on a Walk-In Area tract near Bristol, S.D.   We managed to find birds every day last year, and can’t wait to go again.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, at

Breed Breakdown: Which Wirehair is Which?

Monday, April 21st, 2014


From left, the wirehaired pointing griffon, Deutsch Drahthaar and German wirehair.

To some people, wirehaired pointing griffons and German wirehaired pointers look similar. Both are outstanding versatile dogs, capable of rigorous upland bird work and waterfowl retrieving. Both have remarkable coats that can handle the cold and both have expressive faces characterized by shaggy mustaches and eyebrows. Puppy buyers sometimes confuse the two, but the truth is they are distinctly different breeds.

The German wirehaired pointer was developed through decades of crossbreeding dogs such as stichelhaars, pudelpointers and German shorthairs. They are strong, athletic, and physically designed to run and swim with exceptional control. They can find and point birds, track wounded game, and retrieve equally well on land or water. Personality-wise, German wirehairs can be intense, but they also are extremely biddable and learn quickly. Rarely are they “soft” dogs, which means novice trainers can make mistakes and the dogs will easily recover and relearn.

The Verein Deutsch Drahthaar is the breed’s parent club in Germany. Dogs bred under the VDD breeding regulations are called “Deutsch Drahthaars” to differentiate them from those bred outside the VDD under other registries such as the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association or the American Kennel Club. Beyond that, the German wirehaired pointer and the Deutsch Drahthaar are essentially the same.

The wirehaired pointing griffon was also initially developed in Germany by a Dutch hunter named Eduard Karel Korthals who combined spaniels, braques, retrievers, shorthairs, pointers and several other breeds to create an all-purpose gun dog. In France and Quebec, the breed is still called the griffon Korthals; in the United States, it is the wirehaired pointing griffon.

The griffon is an adaptable bird dog, designed to work efficiently with the on-foot hunter. They are not known to range as far or as fast as many other popular pointing breeds. Although historically the griffons did not have as intense water drive as the German wirehairs, excellent breeding programs in recent years have improved their water performance significantly. The griffon’s nose and pointing ability are comparable to that of a German wirehair, but their temperament is a bit softer and tends more towards dependency. They are extremely sociable and people-oriented.

Physically, the griffon body shape is less defined than the German wirehair – the chest is not as deep or the waist arch as high. Griffons have bigger heads and more “furniture,” the shaggy long hair on their ears, muzzle and most notably the eyebrows. All griffons have thick full coats which can take up to three years to completely come in. The German wirehairs’ coats vary in length and fluff, but are tighter and lie flatter than a griff’s.

Griffons’ coloring varies from brown and brown/white/gray to tri-color and orange-and-white. Black or curly coats are not standard for the breed. German wirehairs are most commonly brown roan, some with large brown patches and/or white chest patches. Black roan and all brown are acceptable by German wirehair breed standards, but all black coats are not.

As with all breeds, a description of temperament and hunting characteristics can only be a generalization. Individual dogs – like individual hunters – can fit the mold or break it. Generalizations do have merit, however, and it’s safe to say that both of these breeds make wonderful hunting partners in the pursuit of upland game and waterfowl.

Nancy Anisfield, an outdoor photographer/writer, sporting dog enthusiast and bird hunter, serves on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors. She resides in Hinesburg, Vermont.

Dog of the Day: “Roxy”

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014


Jared Kenny is looking forward to a spring and summer full of training with “Roxy,” his 15-week-old wirehaired pointing griffon.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Doc”

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


“Doc” is Chris Mees’ four-year-old wirehaired pointing griffon. “Doc and I enjoy hunting in central and western North Dakota,” says Mees, a Pheasants Forever member from Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic Show Guide A to Z

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014


National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic runs Friday, February 14th through Sunday, February 16th at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. In addition to more than 300 exhibitors, there will be seven seminar stages with hourly presentations. The event is presented by MidwayUSA.

Antler sheds. Looking to keep your bird dog busy this offseason? Renowned trainer Tom Dokken is revolutionizing the sport of using dogs to hunt for sheds and presenting at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.

Benelli has introduced the new Ethos shotgun for 2014, and you can get your first look at it at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.


New for 2014, the Benelli Ethos.

Cabela’s, World’s Foremost Outfitter, longtime Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever supporter, is presenting sponsor of Rudy’s Youth Village at the show.

Delmar Smith. “To train like a pro…you’ve got to think like a dog.” Well, Delmar has 75 years of experience thinking like a dog, and you can catch up with him on the “Ask the Experts” panel at the Bird Dog Bonanza Stage.

Expert dog trainers. When Delmar Smith, Ronnie Smith, Tom Dokken, Jim Moorehouse and Bob West form a panel for you to ask questions, that’s a combined 260 years of dog training know-how. Each day on the Bird Dog Bonanza Stage.

Free, as in wildlife habitat management plan. Stop by the Landowner Habitat Help Room at the show and you can consult with a wildlife professional about conservation options for your property from anywhere in the country.

Griffons. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are growing in popularity perhaps faster than any other sporting breed. Learn more at the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America booth.

Habitat. Pheasants Forever’s tagline is “The Habitat Organization.” If your passion is improving habitat for pheasants, quail and other wildlife, the Habitat Hall group of exhibitors is a must.

Is your mouth watering? Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are hosting their own “top chefs” at the show, including wild game chefs Tovar Cerulli, author of The Mindful Carnivore  and David Draper of Field and Stream’s The Wild Chef blog.


See Hank Shaw on the Wild Game Cooking Stage.

J&L Boykins is one of the man bird dog exhibitors at the show. Check out all the bird dog breeds at the Bird Dog Alley.

K9…you can bet there are a couple of exhibitors listed under this letter/number combo.

Life Membership. Make the ultimate commitment to conservation by becoming a Pheasants Forever Life Member. Visit the Pheasants Forever booth by the show floor main entrance.

Missing. If you’re tired of it, then it’s time for a new gun. Check out all the top makers on the show floor: Benelli, Beretta, Browning…

Native grasslands can offer quality nesting cover for pheasants. Come to the Habitat Stage and learn about diversifying and improving this critical habitat.

Outdoor apparel. Start at the Pheasants Forever MarketPlace on the show floor for your Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever-logoed gear. Your product purchases here support wildlife habitat conservation.

Pollinator habitat. What does it have to do with pheasants and quail? Check out the presentations on the Habitat Stage.

Quail are Scott Linden’s favorite bird to hunt. Stop by the Wingshooting USA booth and meet the venerable television host who’s an expert on bobwhite and western quail species.

Rudy the Rooster is Pheasants Forever’s youth mascot. Visit the Youth Village area of the show and get your picture taken with him.


Bird dog breeders and bird dog training seminars are the most popular attractions at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.

Smith, as in Delmar, Rick and Ronnie. National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is a rare opportunity to see the three from this legendary dog training family at the same event.

Training. E-Collars. GPS. Pointers. Puppies. Retrievers. Spaniels. If you can name it, you’ll find a how-to on it.

U.S. Bank presents Pheasants Forever’s Visa Card. Stop by their booth, sign up for their card and receive either a hardcover wild game recipe book, a green PF shooters bag or a chance on a Tri-Star Setter 12 gauge shotgun.

Vegan-turned-hunter Tovar Cerulli, author of The Mindful Carnivore, provides a unique perspective on the Wild Game Cooking Stage.

Wingshooting from the good ‘ol days with the L.C. Smith Collectors Association and the Parker Gun Collectors Association.

X marks your next upland hunting spot, and the tourism divisions from the likes of Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, plus regional tourism representatives and guides and outfitters are here help you book your dream trip.

Yum… Hank Shaw is a hunter, chef, blogger and author of Hunt, Gather, Cook – Finding the Forgotten Feast. See him on the Wild Game Cooking Stage.

Zero-turn lawnmowers. Check out Wisconsin-based – and Pheasants Forever national sponsor, Scag Power equipment, one of more than 300 exhibitors at the show.

Field Notes are compiled by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Dogs of the Day: “Willie” and “Millie”

Friday, April 26th, 2013


This group of hunters depend son “Willie,” Tim Wright’s Wirehaired pointing griffon and “Millie,” Tom Howell’s Brittany. Wright and Howell, avid Pheasants Forever members from Boyne Falls, Michigan, annually make a trip to South Dakota to pheasant hunt public land in the Miller to Pierre region. Front row, from left, Tim Wright, Aaron Wright and Ruth Howell. Standing is Nathan Howell, left, and Tom Howell.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Steve”

Thursday, April 4th, 2013


Ross Copperman’s “Run to the Hills at Sunwood,” known in the field as “Steve,” is a wirehaired pointing griffon who pointed this “pterodactyl of a rooster” at 14-months-old for Ross’ friend Chris (pictured) in North Dakota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Tage,” Pup with Promise

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013


“Tage” is Geoff Osterman’s wirehaired pointing griffon. “He’s my current project and just finished his first full year of hunting,” said Osterman, who lives in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, “He is doing great on both the pheasants and grouse that we have here in S.D.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

AKC’s 28 Sporting Breeds and Their Owners

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Despite their beauty, I don't know anyone personally that owns a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIVE DOG FOOD

The American Kennel Club counts 28 different breeds in the sporting dog category.  I was curious how many different breeds I could connect with people I know.  So here goes it; the 28 sporting breeds according to AKC and the first person that pops into my head as owning that particular breed.

1. American Water Spaniel: Not a single person comes to mind.  Starting slow out of the gates.

2. Boykin Spaniel: Joe Duggan, Pheasants Forever’s VP of Corporate Relations.

3. Brittany: My mom & dad.

4. Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Chad Love, Quail Forever blogger.

5. Clumber Spaniel: Shale Nyberg, volunteer with Minnesota Valley PF Chapter

6. Cocker Spaniel: A swing and a miss.

7. Curly Coated Retriever: I don’t believe I know any curly owners.

8. English Cocker Spaniel: It’s not my place to break the news, but stay tuned for an announcement from a fellow PF blogger related to this breed in the coming months.

9. English Setter: John Edstrom, Pheasants Forever’s merchandise buyer.

10. English Springer Spaniel: Mark Herwig, Pheasants Forever’s Journal editor.

11. Field Spaniel: Drawing a blank.

12. Flat Coated Retriever: Diane Lueck, Pheasants Forever National Board Member.

13. German Shorthaired Pointer: This one is easy . . . ME!

14. German Wirehaired Pointer: Mark Reinert, McLeod County (MN) Chapter of Pheasants Forever.

15. Golden Retriever: My buddy & radio partner, “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand.

16. Gordon Setter: Another fellow radio buddy, Mike “Cold Front” Kurre is in between Gordon Setters at the moment.

17. Irish Red & White Setters: A blank.

18. Irish Setter: Rick Van Etten, editor of Gun Dog magazine.

19. Irish Water Spaniel: Nada.

20. Labrador Retriever: Well, let’s see . . . there is Rick, Eric, Matt, Ron, Brad & Andrew that all come to mind immediately.

21. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: I can’t say as I know anyone that owns one of these beauties.  If I was a duck hunter, these babies would be at the top of my list.

22. Pointer: Rich Wissink, Pheasants Forever’s Youth Programs Coordinator.

23. Spinone Italiano: I used to live down the street from one, but that’s as close as it’s gotten.

24. Sussex Spaniel: To be honest, I’d never heard of this breed till reading it on the website moments ago.  Anyone ever hunted behind a Sussex?

25. Vizsla: David Bue, Pheasants Forever’s VP of Development has a pair.

26. Weimaraner: Janine Kohn, Pheasants Forever’s Education Specialist.

27. Welsh Springer Spaniel: Another goose egg.

28. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon: Although I don’t currently have any direct connections to a “Griff,” Andrew & I are in a race to be the first to own one in the PF/QF offices. 

So there you have it.  Of the 28 sporting breeds recognized by AKC, I have direct links to 16, which leaves 12 voids.  I was actually surprised not to find Munsterlanders (small or large) on AKC’s sporting list.  Anyone know the story of AKC and Munsterlanders?

So, how many of the 28 breeds on this list can you connect to an owner?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.

Put me in Coach, I’m Ready to Play

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

The Labrador retriever goes from last season's pitcher to designated hitter on this year's lineup card.

Last year, I wrote a blog titled “Pitchers and Bird Dogs Report to Spring Training,” which merged my love of upland bird hunting with my previous career in baseball.  With MLB kicking off full squad spring training this week, I’d like to offer my thoughts on how winter free agency has impacted my team of baseball playing bird dogs for 2011.  Yes, it’s a bit of an odd blog but grab that lever under your office chair, recline and imagine hot dogs grilling and fresh cut grass.  Summer is a comin’!

Around the Horn

Pitcher: English setterComing over in a one-for-one trade that sent the Chesapeake Bay retriever to the Madison Mallards, this crafty veteran brings moxie, guile and style to my team of upland canines.  Think Greg Maddux

Catcher: German wirehaired pointer - This versatile pup moves behind the “dish” from centerfield.  Such a dramatic shift in positions may be perceived as a big move for some athletes, but for this grizzled veteran, it’s just another day at the office.  Think Thurman Munson

1st Baseman: Clumber spaniel – The Clumber brings the lumber to my squad after signing a big free agent deal in the off season.  What this pup lacks in range, he’ll make up for with a nose to dig balls in the dirt.  Think Boog Powell

2nd Baseman: Brittany – This rangy midfielder continues to occupy the pivot on my double play combo with the shorthair.  The Britt’s gold glove continues to vacuum up big ground.  Think Bobby Grich

Shortstop: German shorthaired pointer – As a guy that owns a shorthair named after a former Detroit Tigers shortstop, there’s no way I don’t slot my favorite pup into her natural position on the diamond as “The Field General.”  Think Alan Trammell

3rd Baseman: Boykin Spaniel – The newest sporting breed entrant to the Westminster Kennel Club and official dog of South Carolina came over in a three-way deal sending the Weimaraner to the Sioux Falls Pheasants and the Cocker spaniel to the Columbus Canvasbacks.  Think Evan Longoria

Left Fielder: English Pointer – Last year’s season ticket holders demanded this fan favorite join the local nine, so after a long off season of negotiations, the big running pointer brings his skills out to left field.  Think Ricky Henderson

Center Fielder: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon – After a cup of coffee with the big club last September, “Griff” makes the leap to the majors for good with his beyond-the-years maturity, speed and retrieving power.  Think Ken Griffey, Jr.

Right Fielder: Golden retriever – Despite consistently picked last, the golden remains a fan favorite.  When you need a big play in October, this pup is up for the big retrieve.  Think Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson

Designated Hitter: Labrador retrieverLike Babe Ruth, the Lab moves from pitcher to the big stick in the lineup.  Think Babe Ruth

The Babe Ruth of bird dogs?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what breed would make a solid middle reliever, pinch runner, or closer.  Remember . . . don’t take it all too seriously; it’s just a spring training game.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.